SALT LAKE CITY — A former Kanosh firefighter has filed a federal lawsuit against the town's assistant fire chief who faces criminal charges for allegedly raping her.
The woman, whom the Deseret News has chosen not to name, claims Assistant Fire Chief Austin James Corry, Chief Scott Corry, Kanosh and Millard County violated her civil rights, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court.
The woman claims Austin Corry started to sexually harass her shortly after she joined the fire department in 2015 and despite her efforts to dissuade him, his behavior increased in frequency and severity through 2018.
"Tragically, the sexual behavior escalated and became violent, culminating in his raping plaintiff three times at the department," the lawsuit says.
The woman reported the alleged assaults to Scott Corry— who in addition to being the fire chief is a Millard County sheriff's sergeant and Austin Corry's father — to no avail, the suit alleges.
"As might be expected, plaintiff’s complaints to the fire chief about his son’s egregious behavior were dismissed out of hand with instructions to 'not be alone with (Austin),' according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit says Scott Corry had a legal obligation to investigate the woman’s allegations and, due to the familial relationship, should have turned over the investigation to a nonbiased party
"That did not happen," the lawsuit states. "Instead, Scott Corry took no action and allowed the sexual harassment, assaults and ultimate rapes to happen unfettered."
The woman used the audio recorder on her cellphone to record two of the alleged assaults in April and August 2018.
"The audio recording captured plaintiff repeatedly telling (Austin) Corry 'no' and to 'stop,' all to no avail as he continued his assault," the lawsuit says.
Austin Corry is charged in 4th District Court with two counts of rape and two counts of object rape, first-degree felonies; five counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony; and five counts of sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor, for allegedly assaulting the woman at the fire station several times dating back to 2015.
When officers questioned him about the incident, "he admitted that she said 'no' five or six times. Corry also described another occasion when they had what he initially characterized as sex, but after admitting she kept telling him she needed to go and he continued to engage in sex, he acknowledged that it was actually 'rape,'" according to the criminal charges.Comment on this story
A preliminary hearing in the criminal case is scheduled for April 10.
The fire department issued a statement after Austin Corry was arrested last September saying he had been placed on administrative leave and suspended.
The woman's lawsuit seeks at least $1.2 million in damages for emotional distress. It also wants the town of Kanosh to be required to provide annual harassment, discrimination and retaliation training, impose guidelines for investigating harassment complaints and create a vetting process for hiring and promoting firefighters.